If you are looking for the ultimate resource on how to make a glitter jar, we’ve got you covered! Shared below is everything you need to know to make and use DIY glitter jars; a beautiful, calming, and easy mindfulness activity for kids.
What is a Glitter Jar?
A glitter jar is a glass or plastic jar that is filled with a mixture of distilled water, glitter, and a viscous substance such as clear glue or liquid glycerin.
Glitter jars, also known as stress relief jars or calm down bottles, are a popular mindfulness tool for kids of all ages. They can also be used as timers, similar to an hourglass timer.
How Does a Glitter Jar Calm Children?
When kids are in a reactive emotional state such as anger or fear, the amygdala’s natural fight, flight, or freeze response kicks in making rational decision making nearly impossible.
Using a glitter jar can help the amygdala send information to the prefrontal cortex—the thinking part of the brain. Watching the glitter swirl to the bottom of the jar gives kids time to calm down, regain control, and process emotions and sensory input.
How to Make Glitter Jars
Making a glitter jar is an easy, fun, and inexpensive project for home or school. Here are the craft supplies you need:
- 16-ounce glass or plastic jar with lid
- 1/2 cup clear glue
- Distilled water
- Hot glue gun
- 1–2 teaspoons glitter
- Food coloring (optional)
- Sequins (optional)
Step 1: Pour Water into the Jar
Pour 1/2 cup of distilled water into a clean mason jar. Unlike tap water, distilled water contains no contaminants or minerals and will help keep glitter jars mold-free.
Step 2: Add Glue to the Jar
Next, pour 1/2 cup of clear glue into the jar. If desired, tint your glue with 1–3 drops of food coloring. You can also use translucent color glue—it has a beautiful effect!
Step 3: Sprinkle Glitter Into the Jar
Sprinkle 1–2 teaspoons of craft glitter into the jar. We like to use a combination of fine, standard, and chunky glitter! It is also fun to add shaped sequins, such as hearts, to glitter jars.
Step 4: Top Off the Jar
Fill up the remainder of the jar with distilled water. Wipe off the rim with a dry paper towel.
Step 5: Seal the Jar
Use a hot glue gun to squeeze a ring of glue around the lid of the jar. Press the lid onto the jar and secure it with the metal ring.
Step 6: Shake the Jar
Shake the jar well to distribute the glitter and glue!
How to Use Glitter Jars
Like hand tools, kids need to be taught to use social-emotional tools such as glitter jars.
1. Ask your seated child to hold and gently shake the glitter jar.
2. Invite your child to watch the falling glitter while taking deep “belly breaths” with long, slow exhalations.
3. When the glitter and sequins have settled, calmly invite your child to talk about his or her feelings. Take it further with an invitation to draw and write about their feelings:
- The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids: A Journal to Teach Children to Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
- Anger Management Workbook for Kids
- Today I Feel…A Drawing Journal for Kids
Glitter jars aren’t toys, so be sure to keep them out of toy boxes!
NOTE: Throughout the years, many parents and educators have asked me if they should be concerned about kids throwing glitter jars. I’ve never experienced a child throwing a glitter jar in my office or home, but if this is a concern, be certain to use a plastic jar or bottle.
Video Tutorial: How to Make a Glitter Jar
Watch the video below to be guided through each step of this craft. You can view more easy kids craft tutorials on our Facebook Page, Pinterest Page, Teachers Pay Teachers Page, or right here on our website.
Glitter Jar Ideas
Fireflies and Mud Pies is packed with homemade glitter jar ideas for kids. Check them all out here!